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article imageRed-light-running Police Officers, Firefighters to Pay up

By Chris V. Thangham     Apr 13, 2007 in Crime
Dallas Police Department will begin to fine Police Officers and Emergency Vehicles for running red lights from April 15, 2007.
Officers and firefighters in Dallas, Texas, who run red lights will soon have to face the music to the tune of a $75 fine.
While emergency vehicles are given the okay by state law to go through lights when responding to emergencies, chasing a suspect or going to a fire alarm, they haven't been give the privilege to simply fly through lights while out for a drive.
Lt. Sally Lannom talked about these new changes in the law, that some police officers on routine patrol duties run the red lights assuming they can do anything while driving a squad car.
From April 15, Police Officers and firefighters who violate the traffic rules by running red lights will have to pay a $75 dollar fine.
The President of the Fraternal Order of Police doesn't like this decision and says the fellow police officers do not like this decision and nobody does it on purpose. But the recorded traffic violations from the 39 red light cameras around Dallas, since mid-January have recorded 355 emergency vehicles running through red lights.
While not all of them are from Dallas, the Dallas Police Department has investigated nearly a dozen cases and found the officers had legitimate reasons for running the light. If they show valid reasons, the fines will be withdrawn.
"Chief Kunkle feels if an officer can articulate what deemed the call an emergency, and the officer is being reasonable and prudent, then they can proceed through the red light," Lammon said.
Officers feels they are under pressure to go to places quickly when they receive an emergency call, so they are prone to running red lights. But the Dallas Police Department says going fast to places is fine, but if they cause further harm in running the lights will be a problem for others. So, the Police Officers have to proceed with caution.
If it is an emergency, I think Officers can cross the red lights, if not they have to follow the rules. We have seen some accidents recently because of that. If they put the lights and siren, then other drivers will understand and pull aside to let the Officers and Emergency vehicles go first.
Is this the right decision by the Dallas Police Department to fine the Police Officers and Emergency Vehicles?
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